Harley White

Runaway Star - Poem by Harley White

Kappa Cassiopeiae, why
are you hastening madly by?
Seeing your image from afar,
awesomely brilliant, yet bizarre,

suggests our human race somehow,
evocative of earthly now…
Did an explosion grandiose
or a cosmic encounter close

make you stellarly come unstuck,
in roguish manner run amok?
Why have you broken with your past?
Where are you hurrying so fast?

Were you ejected by your peers
far from all associate spheres
into a rampant plunging course
of a hugely impacting force?

Your high speed stuns our Milky Way,
captured by Spitzer in display
of arc colossal blazing bright
with infrared revealing light.

You seem, HD 2905,
in massive astronomic dive,
with bow shock four light years ahead
showing in vivid ruby red.

When your luminous life burns out,
it’s too late for a turnabout…
Runaway supergiant star,
a cautionary tale you are!

Topic(s) of this poem: astronomy

Form: Ekphrastic

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Inspiration for the poem was from the following articles “The Shocking Behavior of a Speedy Star”…
[ //www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/5730-sig14-003-The-Shocking-Behavior-of-a-Speedy-Star]

And also, “Runaway Supergiant Caught in Shocking Display”…
[ //is-universe.com/post/128198175259/runaway-supergiant-caught-in-shocking-display]

'Shocking behavior of a runaway star: High-speed encounter creates arc'
[ //www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140221110105.htm]

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Kappa Cassiopeiae, also known as HD 2905, is a massive runaway star about 4,000 light-years away in the constellation of Cassiopeia. In this infrared image captured by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, the bright red arc is a colossal shock wave created by Kappa Cassiopeiae in the gas and dust that fills the void between stars. This is referred to as bow shock, which occurs as a result of the magnetic field and stellar wind of massive high-speed stars colliding with the diffuse particles present throughout our galaxy.

* * * * * * * * *

The red arc in this infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope is a giant shock wave, created by a speeding star known as Kappa Cassiopeiae, or HD 2905. For this Spitzer image, infrared light at wavelengths of 3.6 and 4.5 microns is rendered in blue,8.0 microns in green, and 24 microns in red.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 11, 2015

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